Medicare telehealth services in 2022

Question: Has the Medicare Telemedicine List changed by 2022?

Answer: As Medicare and Medicaid Service Centers (CMS) continue to evaluate the inclusion of telehealth services that were temporarily added to the Medicare telehealth services list during the COVID-19 public health emergency, some services have ended up being added to Medicare telehealth. the list of services will be on the list until December 31, 2023.

This will give the CMS more time to evaluate whether each service should be permanently added to the Medicare telehealth services list.

The CMS completed, by the end of 2023, the inclusion of Medicare in the list of telehealth services in the list of temporary telehealth services, adding them temporarily to the list of some services that would otherwise be removed from the list. COVID-19 PHE or 31 December 2021 has also been extended to include some intensive cardiac and cardiac rehabilitation codes until the end of CY 2023. This will allow the CMS more time to decide whether or not each telehealth service to collect data. Definitive addition to Medicare’s list of telehealth services.

In addition, CMS is taking encryption and payment on a permanent basis for a longer virtual check-in service.

Section 123 of the Consolidated Credit Act (CAA). it removed geographical boundaries and add the beneficiary’s home as a legitimate site of origin For telehealth services provided to diagnose, assess, or treat a mental health disorder. Section 123 requires that such services be accompanied by a telehealth service with the physician or physician within six months of the initial telehealth service, and that a non-telehealth personal visit be provided at least 12 times. months for these services.

Exceptions to the staff visit request may be made depending on the beneficiary’s circumstance (for a reason documented in the patient’s medical record), and more frequent visits are also allowed under the policy, driven by clinical needs on a case-by-case basis. the basis of the case.

The CMS has changed the current definition of an interactive telecommunications system for telehealth services, which is defined as at least multimedia communication equipment that includes audio and video equipment, two-way real-time and real-time distance between patient and remote physician. enabling interactive communication or. practitioner) to access to audio-only communication technology when used for telehealth services For the diagnosis, assessment or treatment of mental health disorders given to patients established in their own homes in certain situations.

The CMS restricts the use of an interactive two-way audio telecommunication system to mental health services provided by professionals with the ability to provide audio / video communications, but when beneficiaries are unable or unwilling to use two-way audio / video technology.

The CMS also ended a condition of use a new switch for services provided using audio-only communications, it would serve to verify that the practitioner had the ability to offer two-way audio / video technology, but instead used audio-only technology due to the choice or limitations of the beneficiaries. It is also being clarified that mental health services may have services for the treatment of substance use disorders (SUDs).

New Switcher – Switcher 93 – A synchronous telemedicine service provided by telephone or a real-time interactive audio telecommunication system will enter into force on 1 January 2022.

“Synchronous telemedicine service” is defined as a real-time interaction between a physician or other qualified healthcare professional (QHP) and a patient in a remote area of ​​the physician or other QHP. The complete communication of information exchanged between the physician / QHP and the patient during the synchronous telemedicine service must be of sufficient quantity and nature to meet the essential components and / or requirements of the same telemedicine service. face to face interaction.

Renee Dowling is a compliance auditor at Sansum Clinic, LLC in Santa Barbara, California.

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